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Off sick due to high risk pg - can I stay signed off until 36 weeks?

(10 Posts)
StrikeUpTheBand Fri 25-Sep-09 22:35:59

Hi Everyone,

I am wondering something and I thought if anyone would know it might be the ladies on here.

I am pregnant and on sick leave at the moment - have been since 24 weeks and I am now 27 weeks. My reason is because of my previous early preeclampsia which was very sudden and severe. My first pregnancy this started at about 22 weeks, but went undiagnosed and my baby died at 24 weeks and was stillborn sad. My second pregnancy I had symptoms of onset of preeclampsia from 28 weeks, and my baby was born prematurely at 31+3 by emergency c-section (because he needed to be out for both our sakes).
I have been told that preeclampsia is likely to happen a third time. My fetal artery doppler scan revealed a notch which is a very clear sign that preeclampsia (and other related problems) are much more likely. The consultant recommended I finish at 24 weeks when I went to my first appointment at hospital, and the GP thought it was very sensible given my history. I also have other complications and she thinks I am at high risk of complications should I contract swine flu. I am a teacher so (as she put it) "It would be asking for trouble".
She signed me off for 4 weeks, but said that she believed that from 29 weeks I had to take my maternity leave. Now, I am pretty sure that you don't have to take your maternity leave due to sickness unless you are off sick in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy? I thought 29 weeks was the earliest you could take it? Which is correct? I am reading this all over the place, but can anyone confirm this for me and does anyone know of a link to somewhere I could print out and show to my GP next week (as I have to go back then as my sick note runs out). My CMW was not much help either as she also thought 29 weeks but wasn't entirely certain.

Thanks in advance for any idea you might have or previous experience that could help me find out the right answer! I obviously won't be going back to work but would prefer not to have to start maternity leave so soon because DP has only just found another job after a couple of months being out of work and we can barely afford the bills!

StrikeUpTheBand Sat 26-Sep-09 10:19:22


madamy Sat 26-Sep-09 10:22:32

Its 36 weeks in the NHS, I'll try and find guidelines

madamy Sat 26-Sep-09 10:25:30

Here you go it's under the bit - 'when you can start your maternity leave'.

IIRC, the 29 weeks is the earliest you can start mat leave.

madamy Sat 26-Sep-09 10:26:20


inveteratenamechanger Sat 26-Sep-09 10:29:17

It seems to be 36 weeks for teachers too, have a look at this link

Good luck with your pregnancy - hope you can get lots of rest.

inveteratenamechanger Sat 26-Sep-09 10:29:35


llareggub Sat 26-Sep-09 10:31:47

29 weeks is the earliest time that you can start your maternity leave. If you are off sick still at 36 weeks your maternity leave will automatically be triggered. It is the same wherever you work.

Good luck with your pregnancy. I hope you get plenty of rest.

RibenaBerry Sat 26-Sep-09 10:35:59

llareggub is right. For the best deal, you want your doctor to sign you off until 36 weeks and then start maternity leave.

StrikeUpTheBand Sat 26-Sep-09 10:40:52

Thanks both of you smile.

With my living ds, I was off sick from about 29 weeks until he was born at 31+3 (in hospital) and I seem to remember the deputy head at the time just telling me to keep on sending in sick notes.

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